Year of entry2018
Start dateOctober 2018
Four years part-time
Two to three evenings a week
Our BA History of Art with Film is for those with a passion for both the visual arts and the study of film; it is also ideal if you are interested in a career in the broad area of arts, media and cultural industries. The programme covers a wide range of Western art, from the Parthenon to performance art, and film history and theory from film's beginnings to the present day.
You will develop your understanding of works of visual and film culture in their historical context, enhance your skills of visual perception and critical analysis of texts and of still and moving images, and be introduced to the current approaches to the discipline. You will learn to research the cultural and historical contexts in which art and film has been produced and write confidently and analytically about images, films and texts.
As well as regular gallery and museum visits, we offer an exciting study trip abroad every spring. Students are encouraged to become involved in the lively research culture of the department through the History and Theory of Photography Research Centre, the Architecture, Space and Society Centre, BIMI, and the Vasari Research Centre, which has pioneered the field of digital art history.
This programme is also available forand .
We offer information evenings for prospective students interested in our History of Art programmes throughout the year.
- Arts and humanities courses at Birkbeck are ranked third best in London and 13th in the UK in the Times Higher Education 2016-17 World University Subject Rankings.
- Established almost half a century ago, Birkbeck's Department of History of Art is an internationally respected centre for research and teaching. Keep up to date with our activities on the Birkbeck History of Art blog.
- In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), Art and Design at Birkbeck achieved 100% for a research environment supporting world-leading or internationally excellent research.
- You will have access to cutting-edge research through the activities of our research centres, including the History and Theory of Photography Research Centre, the Architecture, Space and Society Centre and the Vasari Research Centre for digital art and technology.
- See students and staff talking about this programme, and our home in Gordon Square
- We have a state-of-the-art cinema and exhibition spaces, all housed in a historic building that was a former home to key members of the Bloomsbury Group, including the author Virginia Woolf and the artist Vanessa Bell.
The 12 modules required for this programme are structured as broad introductory modules in the first year, as more focused thematic and period-based modules in the second year, and as a range of specialised seminar modules in the final years, requiring increasing independence of thought as the degree progresses. You also complete a dissertation. You may take two modules in other disciplines as part of the programme, in consultation with your personal tutor.
In Year 1, you take three compulsory modules.
In Year 2, you take one compulsory module and choose two option modules from Level 5.
In Year 3, you choose two option modules at Level 6, chosen from about 10 on offer annually (or one option module at Level 6 and an option module at Level 5 from Year 2). You also take the Level 5 Research Skills for Dissertations module.
In Year 4, you choose two option modules at Level 6 and complete your dissertation.
Option module provision is reviewed each year; the list below gives an indication of the range of subjects offered.
Year 1 compulsory modules
Year 2 compulsory module
Year 2 History of Art option modules
Year 2 Film option modules
Year 3 compulsory module
Years 3 and 4 History of Art option modules
- Art and Architecture in Rome c 1500 - 1527
- Art and War: 1914 to the Present
- Art in Baroque Rome
- Concrete and Flesh: Modern Architecture and the Body
- Icon to the Avant-Garde: Russian Art Under the Romanovs
- Nationalism and Internationalism in Art 1860-1918
- Photography and its Representations
- Portraiture in England in the Long Eighteenth Century
- Spaces of Modernity: City, Suburb and Countryside in the Nineteenth Century
- Strategies of Display: Avant-Garde Exhibitions, The White Cube and Beyond
- The Gothic Cathedral
BA History of Art with Film dissertation
We welcome a wide range of qualifications, from the UK and abroad, and we will also consider your non-academic achievements.
We welcome applicants without traditional entry qualifications, as we base decisions on our own assessment of qualifications, knowledge and previous work experience. We may waive formal entry requirements based on judgement of academic potential.
Standard requirements are a minimum of 2 A-Levels or equivalent.
Certificates of Higher Education
Students who successfully complete Birkbeck'sare guaranteed a place on this BA, with the possibility of exemption from the first-year modules. Applicants in this position do not need to complete an admissions exercise.
International entry requirements
If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, the requirement for this programme is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 7.0, with not less than 6.5 in each of the sub-tests.
If you don’t meet the minimum IELTS requirement, we offer pre-sessional English courses, foundation programmes and language support services to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.
Visit the International section of our website to find out more about our English language entry requirements and relevant requirements by country.
Credits and Accredited Prior Learning (APL)
If you have studied at university previously, you may have accumulated credits through the modules you studied. It may be possible to transfer these credits from your previous study to Birkbeck or another institution. You should discuss this with the Programme Director when you are making your application.
We are committed to doing everything we can to help you finance your studies.
Fees (2017/8)Part-time home/EU students: £ 6935 pa
Part-time overseas students: £ 9750 pa
As well as fees, you should expect to pay other study-related expenses, for travel to and from College, books, stationery, etc. Birkbeck provides advice and financial support for students who experience hardship in meeting the travel costs of essential fieldwork or study visits.
On this programme, you will also have to pay for the following additional costs:
An optional field trip is available as part of this programme, for which the Department does not charge a fee for attendance. Students are, however, responsible for paying all other costs, including travel, accommodation, food and drink and other subsistence costs, gallery fees, etc. The Murray Bequest offers a limited number of bursaries every year to students who would not otherwise be able to take the field trip. Details on how to apply are usually circulated to students in December or January.
Teaching and assessment
Our innovative, engaging teaching is designed to support students who are juggling evening study with work and other daytime commitments.
At Birkbeck, almost all of our courses are taught in the evening and our teaching is designed to support students who are juggling evening study with work and other daytime commitments. We actively encourage innovative and engaging ways of teaching, to ensure our students have the best learning experience. In the 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), the government’s system for rating university teaching, Birkbeck was allocated a Silver award.
Teaching may include formal lectures, seminars, and practical classes and tutorials. Formal lectures are used in most degree programmes to give an overview of a particular field of study. They aim to provide the stimulus and the starting point for deeper exploration of the subject during your own personal reading.
Seminars give you the chance to explore a specific aspect of your subject in depth and to discuss and exchange ideas with fellow students. They typically require preparatory study.
In addition, you will have timetabled meetings with your Personal Tutor.
Methods of teaching on this course
While some of our students have studied art history at school or have completed short courses, most haven’t studied the subject in any depth prior to starting this course. The first-year modules are therefore intended to provide you with academic skills and a good grounding in the discipline. As you progress through the course, you will have opportunities to explore different types of visual culture in more detail - from buildings to installations, sculpture to digital media, paintings to photography.
We use a variety of formal and informal teaching methods, including lectures, seminars, workshops, gallery visits, group and individual tutorials, and fieldtrips.
Staff teaching on this programme
- Charlotte Ashby
- Suzannah Biernoff
- Monica Bohm-Duchen
- Susan Bracken
- Dorigen Caldwell
- Annie Coombes
- Mark Crinson
- Prasannajit de Silva
- Patrizia di Bello
- Michael Douglas-Scott
- Liz Drew
- Steve Edwards (Programme Director)
- Tag Gronberg
- Laura Jacobus
- Gabriel Koureas
- Nick Lambrianou
- Robert Maniura
- Chris Moock
- Kasia Murawska-Muthesius
- Lynn Nead
- Zoe Opacic
- Leslie Topp
Timetables are usually available from September onwards and you can access your personalised timetable via your My Birkbeck Profile online (if you have been invited to enrol).
Indicative class size
Class sizes vary, depending on your course, the module you are undertaking, and the method of teaching. For example, lectures are presented to large groups, with 30 to 100+ students in attendance, whereas seminars usually consist of small, interactive groups of 10 to 30 students, led by an academic.
Birkbeck offers study and learning support to undergraduate and postgraduate students to help them succeed. Our Learning Development Service can help you in the following areas:
- academic skills (including planning your workload, research, writing, exam preparation and writing a dissertation)
- written English (including structure, punctuation and grammar)
- numerical skills (basic mathematics and statistics).
Our Disability and Dyslexia Service can support you if you have additional learning needs resulting from a disability or from dyslexia.
Our Counselling Service can support you if you are struggling with emotional or psychological difficulties during your studies.
Our Mental Health Advisory Service can support you if you are experiencing short– or long-term mental health difficulties during your studies.
Assessment is an integral part of your university studies and usually consists of a combination of coursework and examinations. You will be given time to complete coursework and prepare for exams.
Unseen written examinations are usually taken in the Summer term, during May to June, and, in most cases, are held during the day on a weekday – if you have daytime commitments, you will need to make arrangements for daytime attendance. Exam timetables are published online in March each year.
Methods of assessment on this course
Our assessment methods are equally varied, ranging from essays, exhibition reviews, research portfolios and project proposals, to presentations and examinations. The programme culminates in a 10,000-word dissertation on a chosen topic.
All our classes are held in the evening, to enable you to continue your career - or gain valuable intern or work experience - during the day.
As well as a mark for your coursework and exams, you will also receive feedback from your marker(s) to help you learn, improve and succeed. We encourage you to discuss feedback with your module tutor.
Feedback can come in different forms: notes via Moodle (our online learning environment); a paper copy of a completed feedback form; or in-class or face-to-face feedback. The College Policy on Feedback on Assessment sets out what you can expect from your feedback.
Your department will usually provide you with your marked coursework within four weeks of submission. Your initial mark is provisional until the relevant Board of Examiners has confirmed it.
Your official coursework and exam results will be made available to you via your My Birkbeck Profile online.
Careers and employability
To help you get ahead in your career, we offer free advice and training and our recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, can connect you with employers.
Careers and employability
Our students develop the ability to think critically and creatively, and to articulate their ideas persuasively. Intellectual rigor, visual sensitivity and informed debate are fundamental to the discipline of history of art, as well as being transferrable skills relevant to a range of careers. Graduates can pursue jobs in arts management, conservation and policy; in education, marketing and publishing; in the museums and heritage sectors; and in research and academia.
Find out more about the destinations of graduates in this subject.
Jobs gained by some of our BA and MA graduates include:
- Head of Learning, Design Museum
- Curator, Schools Programmes, Tate Modern
- Curatorial Assistant, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
- Curatorial Officer, National Army Museum
- Head of Campaign Management, Science Museum
- Curator, Handel House Museum
- Head Curator, National Maritime Museum
- Director, Foundling Museum
- Curator, British Art 1850-1915, Tate Britain
- Courses and Events Programmer, National Gallery.
We offer a comprehensive Careers and Employability Service to help you advance your career, while our in-house, professional recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, works with London’s top employers to help you gain work experience that fits in with your evening studies.
Go on to work and/or study:
Data from 20 students.
60% of those surveyed responded
Source: Destinations of leavers from HE record
- Go on to work and/or study
- Now working: 50%
- Doing further study: 15%
- Studying and working: 10%
- Unemployed: 5%
- Other: 20%
Read more of the statistics for this course on the Unistats website.
How to apply
Once you've found the course that's right for you, here's what to do next to get your place at Birkbeck.
How to apply
You apply directly to Birkbeck for this course, using the online application link. Please note that online application will open in October 2017.
Admission is based on an interview and a written exercise.
Birkbeck offers a range of free face-to-face advice and support to help you make a successful application.
Birkbeck can give you all of the information and help you need to complete your application form, including our online personal statement tool, which will guide you through every step of writing your personal statement.
- History of Art (BA): 3-year, full-time
- History of Art (BA): 4-year, part-time
- History of Art (BA): 6-year, part-time
- History of Art and History (BA): 3-year, full-time
- History of Art and History (BA): 4-year, part-time
- History of Art and History (BA): 6-year, part-time
- History of Art with Curating (BA): 3-year, full-time
- History of Art with Curating (BA): 4-year, part-time
- History of Art with Curating (BA): 6-year, part-time
- History of Art with Film (BA): 3-year, full-time
- History of Art with Film (BA): 6-year, part-time
Life at Birkbeck
Birkbeck offers a unique combination of evening study and a matchless central London location, right in the geographic and academic centre of the city, giving you exceptional opportunities.
Accommodation and living costs
Most of our students live in private accommodation, but we also offer student accommodation and access to the professional services of the University of London Housing Services.
The Birkbeck experience
Birkbeck is different: our classes are held in the evening, so your days are free - to study, work, volunteer or just do your own thing.
Birkbeck is committed to doing everything we can to help you finance your studies. Find out about what is available, how to apply and the advice and support we provide.
How to apply
Once you've found the course that's right for you, here's what to do next to get your place at Birkbeck. We can give you the advice and support you need.
Discover more about our comprehensive range of student services, which offer all the support and assistance you need.
Boost your career
Discover how Birkbeck's unique evening teaching, coupled with our comprehensive careers and employability services, can help you get ahead in a highly competitive job market.
Fees and payment
With government loans for undergraduate and postgraduate study, fantastic financial support packages and flexible payment options, there’s never been a better time to study at Birkbeck.
There are lots of ways to come and visit us and meet our staff and former students, including Open Evenings, Open Days and guided campus tours. Discover more here.
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